Pip and Abe came in from Epiez today. They were left behind in charge of the datail assigned to police the place after we left and wait for two machines that were being repaired.
Flew uneventful patrol with the Major, Dewey, Bedroll and Deuce. 1st time crossing over into Germany. We patrolled along their balloon line for a time. Bursting anti-aircraft followed us up and down the line, occasionally bouncing us around. I was wishing the Major would do a little more evasive maneuvering as the stuff was even more unnerving than my first dose of it in the light of what happened with Ed.
Our American boys are in the tick of it someplace up north of us called Belleau Wood. The paper says that the French were telling our Marines to retreat and one of them told them, "Retreat Hell! We just got here!" That's the spirit that'll win this war!
We expect to move soon, there's supposed to be another big German push coming nearby.
June 7th 1918
Two eggs and toast for breakfast. Fried sunny side up, just like I like em. On alert this morning but I guess the Germans all decided to sleep in. All dressed up and no-place to go. We're all keen to get a Hun before the 27th beats us to it.
Thick clouds at 3,800 meters.
Flew over to the Aerial Target Range at Boucq this afternoon. Used up 100 rounds, good practice and I intend to keep it up, even tho they cost the Government 4 to 5 cents apiece. If I can shoot straight, hopefully I can knock down a Hun and if not one of them will most likely knock me down.
Will work on my correspondence tonight. New guidelines came down from the censors about what you can send. If you're not right up in the Front Line you can tell your folks where you are, even use the name of the town in the address, along with the APO number, but you still can't send picture post cards. They're supposed to be easy to use as a medium for secret communication.
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc 32 Sqn B Flt Fouquerolles, Marne.
June 8, 1918.
Up two times today : Morning was a recon spotted a lot of e/a far off ,but no attacks.
Afternoon: Patrol on the enemy side of the lines. The flight topped at 12,000 ft and we crossed into Hun land then my Carburetor iced up . Dropped down to 5000ft and was able to re-start the motor all alone I RTB.
The X.O. said that I was to report to 40 Sqn over in Flanders. I was listed as excess here with 32 and 40 Sqn was hit hard . The excess pilots will re-form the Squadron.
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc, Instructor Pilot 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
June 9, 1918.
I say, bit of joy today. Our Sqn Hop was to an enemy AF, I dove a little to steep and gunned the target, Zooming , I curved around for a second run catching the e.a alert fighters on take off. Bloody wicket, I was in behind the last one and close so held down the triggers. My guns sent off a full drum of Lewis and about 100 rds of Vickers then the e/a burst into flame. By Jove, kinda sicking seeing the pilot sitting in all that fire. I couldn't watch as he crashed near the enemy AF. Our top cover got the other 3 e/a The Maj had loaned me the Maint Officer Kite for t today but should have one assigned to me tonight. I am one of 5 pilots with kills ( if it gets confirmed ) out of 17 newbies. The Maj wants me to teach formation flying during my off time.
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc, Instructor Pilot 2 Victorys 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
June 10, 1918.
Bit Busy, They took my assigned Kite from the stores. Early 1917 model and well used. Low oil pressure, old flying wires, and U can see where its patched. Tish , Toss, I took it up on AF patrol flight along with 2 other wingmates. Bit of joy finding 2 Rumplers under the cloud at 7-8000 ft. I got one, but we lost the other in cloud after getting a few hits. No damage to our kites. Where was the Escort ? My Kill fell on one of our AF by Doullons. Confirmed by phone also my Scout Kill was seen by wingmates the day before
So many stories, so little time. Finally managed to catch up with my reading. Carrick, was ist das? Luthor is a deserter? I didn’t see that coming. Good luck with the new boy. Raine, you could not go through the Great War without getting shot in the arse at least once. Very authentic. I must say he dodged a bullet with that whole Catherine affair. Lucky Scarborough showed up when he did. Congrats on the bar and good luck chasing after Jimmy’s record. Hope you can meet the man in one of your stories. Canuck, enjoy the time off in the hospital. Hopefully the recent experiences have taught your pilot to keep his head on a swivel and not fall for the “easy kill” trick. Jerbear, love the extra detail to your stories and like Raine, can’t wait for Johnny to get in the fight and read the action reports. Keep ‘em coming, Gentlemen.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
Weather bad and hazy, no patrols scheduled. Wally Heinricks, Davy, Dewey and I got together to make a visit to the Front. Wally took one of the motor-pool's Harley Davidsons and I signed out an Indian, both with buddy seats (1). Took our Iron Derbies, Mufflers (2) and side arms. We stopped at Balloon Co. 8 artillery. Took our speed buggies on up to the 75mm gun positions all along the road, Berne'court, Beaumont, Rambucourt, all of which were almost completely destroyed by shell fire. The Yankee Division holds a 20k front here, only US troops up there, no civilians, most staying in the dugouts which are 30 feet deep, only a few standing by in the daytime. Trenches are dry, 6 ft deep, with duckboards in the bottom,, shell holes everywhere, artillery everywhere you look. Went up to an observation post. Officers are fine to us. Think our work is especially dangerous. Saw German Archie fire over St. Mihiel harassing some Sopwiths and Nieuports. The Germans started shelling the road with 77s and the Yankees replied. Collected some spent 75mm casings, going to have them shaped and engraved into flower vases or umbrella stands. No one seemed to have any great sense of danger, just business as usual. Had my pocket Kodak, took some pictures.
Despite the weather, the Major took Abe and Pip up for an orientation patrol. He took them near the front, Pip's motor conked and he had to land in a mass of shell holes and wire, hit his face on the windshield. He looks like hell but he's Okay, limping around the aerodrome like an old man.
June 9th 1918
Went on patrol this a.m. with Ralph and Dewey to Bey - St. Mihiel. Stayed at 5,000 meters, above the range of Archie, Saw no HA, nice, sunny day with just a few puffy clouds here and there. I almost dropped off the sleep a few times.
Flew over to Etang Neuf later to do some more target practice.
June 10th 1918
Was on alert this afternoon but we didn't get anything.
Simmy finally rejoined. We gave him a good bit or ribbing about being so late to the party. Took it in his stride and made a joke of it. He said that actually he got out earlier than he thought he would, "it usually takes a Kiwi a month or so to recognize an error. When they do, they need another 4 or 5 clerks to verify it." He thought about going AWOL because he figured it would take them until the end of the war to figure it out, but then he wouldn't get paid, so he changed his mind.
(1) Buddy seat - sidecar (2) Muffler - Gas mask (3) Below picture is of a US Army Indian with side car
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc, Instructor Pilot 2 Victorys, 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
June 13, 1918.
I tagged along on a outing with B Flight. I was tail end charlie as the flight climbed to engage 3 Recon types Dfw ? near Lens. I saw one get Flamed by the Flt Leader. Then the Enemy Rea guns flamed Lt Boys SE, but by then the rest of the flight cut them up. All 3 went down ( 1 Flamed, 1 Pilot kill just looped over and over, the last nosed down went upside down and the wings peeled off. ) Besides loosing Boys we had one crash on the way back also KIA a Sgt Pickering. Upon landing , I filled in the request for 2 re placement a/c from HQ.
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc, Instructor Pilot 2 Victorys, 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
June 14, 1918.
Dawn Patrol : B Flight had AF cover so up at dawn. Spotted a flight of 2 seat a/c lower amid a Valley of clouds. Our 3 a/c made one High side run then a turnabout only to have lost them in the Murk and clouds. RTB
Afternoon: AF attack . We had 10 ships diving and swanning about the target. There must have been some kinda cock up at HQ because it appeared to be a Training Aerodrome. Some old types on the field but no sleek, powerful pursuit ships.
Quiet day, only one Alert, which the 94th took, no HA found.
Spent some time with the Armorer, working on my Vickers. We honed some of the moving surfaces to get smoother action, maybe avoid jamming, at least from that angle. Went over my ammunition belts again and repositioned the feed boxes. Cpl. Black looked over the synchronizing interruptor gears. The engine and the rest of the ship are in excellent order. I'm confident that I'm as ready as I can be, now all I need it a Hun to shoot at.
Spent a quiet evening in the room, sending the picture post cards I couldn't send before.(1) It would be great to send some of the pictures I took up at the front, but those'll have to wait until the war's over to be developed. Despite regulations against it, no one bothers you when they see you using a camera but trying to get the pictures developed would be quite a different, court martial offense, matter.
June 12th 1918
There was supposed to be a patrol at 8 but it was called off because of the low clouds. Rained in the afternoon. Voluntary patrol for 16:00 called off too.
Davy, Wally, Dewey and I took our 75mm shell cases over to the French machinists at the 122nd Esc, one of them is an expert engraver. He'll turn them into flower vases and umbrella stands. Showed us some beautiful floral designs, two of which I chose for gifts home, and some more martial ones, but I'm having Mickey Free and some aircraft designs put on the other two. He said he thought he could do them justice.
The Germans have advanced 12 kilometers in their Chateau-Thierry drive and are supposed to be 20 miles from Paris. Maybe we'll be sent to a more active sector soon, we're as ready as we'll ever be and we aren't accomplishing anything here.
(1) Censorship regulations changed about this time, allowing picture post cards to be sent through the mail as long as they we not from areas near the front. Photographs could also be sent, providing they did not have any military installations or hardware in the background. Ownership of cameras was allowed but photography was forbidden unless your job involved photography. Cameras were to be kept unloaded in the bottom of a footlocker. This regulation was seldom enforced.
The Major took B Flight on a long patrol out toward Chalons at 8:20 yesterday. We saw nothing on the way up, but on the return trip cream puffs were seen a few miles south of us, considerably within our lines.
Major Bonnell took us in the direction of the Archie fire. As we got closer, a dot appeared, which grew into a German monoplace, an Albatros. We were at 4,000 meters, several hundred above the Hun. The Major gave the signal, then led us in the attack. He made the first firing pass, then Dodd and Simmy made a run on the Huns tail. He didn't take any evasive maneuvers, just went into a side slip, then went down out of control.
While all this was going on, I saw more white Archie about a mile away. So, I headed in that direction, not taking any heed as to whether any of the rest of the Flight had joined me. As I approached, it became clear that there were 2 German monoplace, heading northeast. Before going after them, I looked around for the others and saw nothing but empty sky. Being outnumbered, I refrained from chasing the HA further and began to look about for my Flight.
While I was thus rubber necking around aimlessly, yet another Albatros appeared about 400 meters below me. He didn't seem to be aware of me. Forgetting about searching for the rest of the Flight, I immediately piqued behind and below him. With the speed from the dive, I was closing fast, no time to aim, just fired both Vickers and taped the rudder bar to put the tracers into his rapidly growing underbelly. I saw puffs of smoke come from his engine compartment as I banked away. I barrel rolled to keep the Hun in sight and came at his tail again, this time from above, peppering him hard. The Albatros began to smoke and make feeble evasive maneuvers, then the propeller stopped.
I got a good look at the machine. The main fuselage was black or dark gray while the forward section was painted a wine red, as was the flipper, there was a red devil, lunging with a pitchfork painted on the side, rudder was white (1).
We were down to 2,500 meters, with me behind him, matching his speed, in a perfect position to kill him. When he made no move to land I fired several short bursts over his head to give him the idea he should surrender, but he just continued to glide toward Germany. I waggled my wings and gestured at him, still he paid me no heed. I don't understand why he didn't land to surrender himself. Maybe he was wounded and disoriented, maybe there was something wrong with his controls, maybe he thought my guns were jammed after I quit firing, I don't know. I feel rather sorry for him now, but at the time, my only thought was that I wasn't going to allow him to get back to Hunland and come at me some other day when the tables might be turned. So, I lined him up in the sights and leaned on the triggers.
The right upper wing section flew off and the plane flipped upside down before it went straight down, the broken wing fluttering like a leaf, flashing when it caught the sunlight. It smoked but didn't burn, at least not until it hit the ground. I followed it down to about 400 meters, thinking of landing but decided better of it. I passed over the crater where the Boche burned near a road and looked over the area to get my bearings. I recognized Bar-le-Duc so I flew northeast where I believed Belrain Aerodrome would be. I was correct and I landed there, Dewey and Snake were on the field, having had oil leaks. Ralph got the French clerk to ring up Gengoult and he reported our whereabouts and my Hun.
Dewey talked to the Commander there and borrowed a car to look for my German while the mechanics put some juice in our Nieuports and looked them over.
Traveling south toward the still visible smudge of smoke, we saw a number of vehicles stopped along the road leading to Bar-le-Duc. We pulled in behind them and walked out 200 yards to where some Poilos and their officers were standing with several farmers next to the still smoldering crater. When Dewey told them I was the one who had sent down the Hun there was much cheering, hand shaking and some of those embarrassing French hugs and kissy face.
There wasn't much left, just charred wood, melted wires and twisted metal, the engine with it's nose buried in the mud. The body was laying where it had been thrown nearby, under a blanket which they removed so that I could view my victim. He was, thankfully, face down, neck at an odd angle, arms and legs in unnatural positions, twisted, blood was soaking through the front of the clothing. It was hard to look at and at the same time hard to look away. Finally, they covered it again and we walked back over to the wreck to see if there was anything I could take as a souvenir. I was thinking about trying to get one of the bent up Spandau barrels off when another farmer came trotting up saying something about "aile," wing. We followed him and saw something glinting a few hundred yards off,hanging in a hedgerow. It was that top wing section tangled in the top. The farmer brought a ladder, and after about 20 minutes of cursing and a tear in my jacket, we got it down.. I cut out the big black cross on the pink, blue, yellow and green camouflage canvas, rolled it up and took it back with me. I tried to give the farmer a few Francenes but he turned them down, seeming more pleased to get the hard pine wing braces, so everyone was happy as we parted.
Back at Belrain, the French treated us royally, stuffing us with rich food and some of what Dewy and Ralph told me was really fine wine, me being no judge. The French commander told me that from my description of the Albatros it was probably from the German's 65th Squadron, based at Mars-la-Tour. Dewey got a little sick so we waited for him to finish throwing up before we flew back. We didn't get to Gengoult until after 6.
Before doing my 3 circuits around the field to burn up the gas collected in the cowling, I revved my engine as I passed over to indicate that I had scored. Thought the boys were going to beat me to death, slapping me on the back, rubbing my head, yelling "Good boy Goody!"
I made my report and requested confirmation on my German before I went to the mess. Dodd, SImmy and I were the heroes of the hour, the Major didn't make a claim, despite his participation in the first kill (2) (3), I hung my cross on the wall among the other trophies while everyone hollered and clapped, with the exception of the Weasel and Monkey, I noticed. A good number of the men from the French outfits came over to shake my hand, Rick among them, which was especially gratifying. He's been recommended for the new Distinguished Service Cross they've started handing out now. (4)
The Major talked to us about the patrol, reminding us that we still have to get confirmation before we can paint Mickey on our Nieuports. He said he thought the Huns we caught were going home after getting into a fight during an escort mission, that was why they were all spread out, "fruit salad for us."(5))
Before I went to the barracks, the Major invited me to his office, Mickey accompanying us. When he had closed the door and I hand scratched Mickey a little he first congratulated me on my Hun, then put me at attention. He then proceeded, in a stern but not unkindly way, to chew my balls off for going off on my own with no one to watch my back. He made me to see that the whole matter could most certainly have gone the other way. He also disapproved of my landing at a French aerodrome so I could go souvenir hunting rather than taking myself and, more importantly, my valuable machine, home after I was done playing. I acknowledged the rightness of all he had expounded, assured him that I would heed his instructions in future, was dismissed saluted and about faced to leave, at which time, Mickey, always ready to play when he saw me, slammed into the back of my knees, causing me to fall back into the room. This broke the solemnity of the occasion and we parted with a good laugh after the Major put in one last salvo, stating that he didn't wish to see me awarded the "wooden cross." (6)
(1) The pilot of the Albatros DVa was Heinrich Zempel of Jasta 65. He was actually shot down on 17 July 1918 but survived by using a parachute. My Zempel was not so lucky.
(2) In the USAAS, full credit was given to all participants in an aerial victory. For example, if two or more pilots attacked and destroyed one EA together, each got credit for a full victory each, not a partial credit. Eddie Rickenbacker's first kill could rightfully have been shared by Lufbery but he let Rickenbacker have it all to himself to boost his confidence and prestige, just as Major Bonnell has done here.
(3) The 147th Aero's first victory was actually not made until 2 July, it was shared by 6 pilots.
(4) Eddie Rickenbacker had 6 victories as of 30 May but will not have another until 14 Sep.
Scabies in the 27th Aero, some of them very bad, in hospital.
Went over to the French to check on the progress of the 75mm casings. He has them shaped and most of them ready to finish up, come back in a couple of days. When I got back I was told that our victories were confirmed. Spent most of the afternoon painting my Mickey. I did most of the work myself but got Dewey, who's more artistic, to do the eyes and nose. He did a good job, very intense looking. Simmy painted a dead rat hanging by it's tail under his Mickey so I did the same, only mine is hanging on a bar over his head. I painted my rat red, with a little pitch fork in his claws. (1)
The latrine news (2) says we're going to join the big fight near Paris soon.
(1) Mickey Free was an Apache Scout and bounty hunter who served with Gen. George Crook. He had a reputation as a tough fighter and tracker. It was said by his fellow scouts that he was half Irish, half Mexican and a whole son of a #%&*$#. His birth name was Felix Telles. As a child, he was abducted by the Pinal Apache then traded to and raised by the Coyotero. The white soldiers gave the scouts nick names, partly due to difficulty in pronouncing some to the names and partly just because that's what they did. Because of his red and certain aspects of his personality Felix was named for a character in Charles Lever's 1840 novel, "Charles O'Mally, the Irish Dragoon."
The origin of the motto, "Who Said Rats!" is obscure. The pilots used dead rats, sausages, balloons and other symbols to show their tally of victories.
Jerbear, I am loving the tales of Mr Goode. Your writing is fantastic.
Carrick, Cyril seems to have wasted no time getting stuck in. Keep it coming please!
Lt Collin Sitwell 62 Sqn RAF Planques
Say what you will about the hospital, it gives you time to think. And think I did. How in the HELL am I supposed to take on a group of those awful two seaters without ending up full of holes? I discussed it at length with several other pilots in the infirmary before one came up with a brilliant idea: Why am I not using my rear gunner????
As soon as I returned to the Sqn I found Wendell Alverton (my newest observer) and discussed the strategy. He seemed excited and we agreed we would try it out at the first opportunity.
We didn't have long to wait. I was cleared for flying on the 14th, and almost immediately tapped by Maj Smith to take my place on the line. A group of huns had been seen hovering around the lines observing out troops and we were to drive them off. It did seem a little strange that a Sqn more than 70 miles from the lines was to be chosen for this, but everyone closer to the lines were busy shooting up Hun columns and trenches. The only reason 62 Sqn was stuck in the rear not conducting ground attacks was because a brutal run of the Spanish Flu had torn through the Sqn when the rest of 9 Wing was moved up to the lines. 
As we approached the lines I spotted a group of 3 Roland two seaters slightly above us and to port. I waggled my wings and broke formation towards them. I tapped Wendell and pointed. He gave an emphatic nod and set about getting ready.
I manouvered carefully underneath the rearmost Hun and pulled slightly ahead. None of the enemy had seem my approach and the first sign they had of our presence were rounds smashing through their kite. Both starboard wings ripped off and the Roland spun violently toward the ground. It was horrific.
One of the other Rolands peeled off towards Hunland, but the other carried on straight as if nothing had happened. Once again I maneuvered slowly underneath and ahead of it and Wendell unleashed a torrent of fire into it. It burst into flame and one wing tore off as it dove groundward. Satisfied, we headed for home.
The 15th saw us fly two patrols. The first we left early, long before breakfast, to catch any early Huns. All we ended up doing was ruin their peaceful breakfast with the sound of our motors buzzing high over their heads. HA! Take that Kaiser. Victory must be near. The afternoon we again took to the skies, doing nothing more than enjoy the scenery and burn some more petrol. To be honest, there is nothing wrong with a quiet patrol.
The 16th was quiet, but still death managed to find us anyways. We flew one patrol in Sqn strength, towards the west for some reason. No less than three aircraft had to turn for home with mechanical issues, including mine. Just as we were to turn for home there was a tremendous BANG and oil sprayed the windshield. I quickly shut down and headed in the direction of what I hoped was an airfield. After a nervous several minutes, I found one and settled in for a gentle landing. The mechanics at the field took a look at my crate and just shook their heads. Three days minimum to make it airworthy again. I hopped in a tender and was back at Planques for a late dinner. It was then that I learned the fate of the other two crews who turned back. Fires and hard crashes. I was crushed to learn than Harry Holtcome, by first observer and favourite drinking pal, was killed in one of the crashes. We drank a long toast to the fallen that night and went to bed in a somber mood.
Today saw us eager to exact our revenge. The orderlies woke us in the dark and Maj Smith laid out his plan to bomb a hun aerodrome just after sunrise. We were in the air before 0430 and over the Hun field before their breakfast. Our bombs smashed over their airfield and we turned for home. Not long after three DVs flew across our noses, completely focused on their travels, not seeing us. I waggled my wings and off we went after them. A whirling dogfight occurred and we all fought for our shots. I finally found myself on the tail of a hun and I unleashed a burst of rounds into the cockpit. He immediately flipped onto his back and dove into a field leaving a decent furrow in the poor farmers crops. Feeling somewhat more satisfied, I headed for home.
 62 Sqn would remain at Planques aerodrome until August due to the sickness, often with up to 20 pilots unable to fly at any given time. The Sqn spent a quiet summer conducting patrols when physically able.
Didn't feel up to snuff this morning. Chills and fever in the night. Not hungry, only had a cup of coffee for breakfast.
10:00 alert over Pont-a'-Mousson, Alk leading, Deuce, Ken, Dewey, Me. Felt shaky at first but better after I was in the air. Archie puffs showed us the way to Germans, 3 biplace. On Alk's signal we piqued on them. They were DFWs, I got below and behind one of them, came close up to give him a good peppering, this looked like easy meat. But before I could let loose, there was a sideways twist on the part of the man above and a crackling noise, as flaming tracer feathers descended on me from the Heinie operating from the back pew. His manner was anything but impersonal and it was clear that he intended to do me harm when a number of these projectiles struck my Nieuport. I piqued and banked to avoid his further attentions.
I checked out my machine to see if any serious damage had been done. Everything seemed fine except for the holes in my wings so I looked around to see what kind of trouble I could get into next. I saw Dewey chasing one of the Huns below me so I piqued again, but opted to fire at him from a greater distance then got the Hell away. I made a couple of these passes to get the man in back's attention away from Dewey as he came in close for the kill, I don't know if I hit anything or not. The DFW went down, out of control, the others disappeared into the clouds.
Dewey made a claim on the Hun, I did not. He's a much braver man than I to come up steady with that rear gun winking at him. Counted 12 holes in my upper and lower wings and 3 in the fuselage, just behind the office.
Intermittent rain, no patrols, no alert duty. Spent the early a.m. cleaning up the room. Went down to cash a check, pay bills and then Dewey and I went to pick up the shells. The Frenchman won't accept money for them, this was a new twist, he'll only accept sugar. We cherched 4 boxes of lump sugar from the mess (1), Tried to buy some in town but found none, guess that's why he wants it in payment. Got 5 lbs granulated out the back door from an acquaintance at the YMCA. It was more than we needed so I gave Davy the extra, good luck to him trying to find some after our raid. They're very fine, especially the ones with the Mickey on them. I don;t know if I can send the floral ones home, may end up lugging them around for the rest of the war.
Spent the evening with Davy and his pals. Lots of rough housing, there always is with them, lots of pep in those boys and more often than not, too much alcohol.
(1) cherched - to obtain something, you may have bought it, borrowed it or stolen it, but you got it, we would call it scoring now.
below is a picture of Mickey Free that I couldn't fit on in the June 15th entry